Welcome to High School, Cady Heron
By Carolyn, age 15, Indiana
Worlds of difference just down the street. What is this little-known difference right under our noses?
Alarm goes off. Smack it into submission. Go back to sleep. It goes off again. Repeat.
Sound familiar? You get up, shuffle into the shower, and sit for an unwise amount of time in the hot water. Once you get out, after muttering several well-phrased insults at the cold air, you return to your room. There you either dig blindly through the dirty clothes pile for something to wear, or else you retrieve your neatly laid-out clothing from where it's hung on the bookshelf ... depending on your neatness level. You stuff last minute homework into your backpack, plus a few extra gym clothes, make sure you have money for lunch, and off you go.
The day is filled with yawning through your boring classes and laughing through your fun ones. Saying a quick "Hi" and sharing a bit of gossip in the halls, running to catch the bell, pouting at the fact that your teacher didn't sit you next to that cute guy.
All part of a day's work, right? I mean, it's natural. Second nature. You hardly think about it anymore. Nothing anyone does surprises you, unless it's Jake asking Melissa out to the dance. Really. It's part of your life.
But what about the people who don't go to school? Those who have been homeschooled their entire lives? What many of us take as "normal" is an entirely different world for these kids. The difference is very drastic. Going to public school and being homeschooled are two entirely different worlds.
I began going to public school just this semester. I entered as a fourteen year old sophomore. I am currently the youngest in most of my classes.
Let me begin with a bit of history. I was raised as a homeschooler. All my friends were either part of my homeschool group or went to my church. I was two grades ahead throughout elementary school, placed very well in the SAT's, and was an active member in my church club, through which I got a scholarship without even knowing it.
So then, after my first year of homeschooled high school, my parents wanted me to try public school. Why? The main reason was that I needed physical education, and the secondary reason was that I needed to find out what the world was like.
I thought I already knew ... Boy, was I wrong. There were many things I found shocking, strange, and bizarre ... things that regular high schoolers take for granted.
1. The Profanity
I heard more profanity during my first day of school than I'd heard in my entire life, and I'm not exaggerating. It was everywhere, and I was simply amazed. I never knew people actually said those things nowadays! I never knew that people used profanity that often! The first day practically traumatized me.
Regular schoolgoers must think I'm absolutely bizarre for being shocked at their use of profanity. It's normal for them to hear it and to say it.
2. The Bell
As a homeschooler I was naturally on a very self-disciplined schedule, yet going to high school and hearing the bell even pushed that.
Five minutes between classes? ... That's not even enough time for a bathroom break! I never knew that high schoolers were run on such a tight schedule, and to this day the five minute rule still annoys me.
Regular schoolers might not realize it, but at home kids generally have more trust and are allowed to do as they please more often.
3. The Classes
The transition from homeschooling education to public school education was drastic. In high school I found that the classes are drawn out for much, much longer, yet the amount of learning is the same, if not less, than the education in a half-hour homeschooling class. It's far easier to get a higher grade as well. I could practically sleep through my Multimedia class at school and still get an A. While homeschooling I strained to get even B's.
Regular schoolers must be entirely used to the easy level of their classes. They probably don't realize that homeschooling is more difficult.
4. The Dating
Now, I was not all that "sheltered" of a homeschooler. I did watch TV occasionally, and I did watch the cheesy school shows where kids "hooked up" or went through terrible soap opera dating lives. But I didn't really think school was like that. I thought it was all made-for-TV drama. Boy, was I wrong.
Dating, for high schoolers, is a natural part of their lives. Crushing, asking out, dances, etc. And to think that there are people my age who don't even so much as think about romance.
5. The Immaturity
I might offend some people with this one. (He he, don't hurt me ...) But I found that schooled kids have a much lower level of maturity than the kids who are home schooled. I mean, it shocked me to see people acting like they were ten ... or at least what I thought ten year olds behaved like. I personally prefer the company of adults over kids, even fellow home schooled kids, so when it came to public school, I was simply floored.
They probably see "my kind" as stuck up and haughty to think we're "better" or something. I'm not entirely sure. Maybe we do feel this way ... maybe we have a problem in this area. Let me know what you think.
But, as a final note, let me say that I am extremely glad I started going to public school. Why? Simple ... It's easier.